What is
Calligraphy - Part 2

The western art of visual writing (known as “calligraphy”, i.e. the art of beautiful writing) is more of a craft, where sho is often referred to as “heart imagery” or “soul painting”. It conveys emotions, passion, and the vision of the creator. Executed in single strokes that cannot be retouched, thought out, or planned, it offers a journey into the depth of soul of another human being. The sensation aroused by a passionate shodo can be compared to looking deep into someone’s eyes. We like to think of it as an enchanted storytelling that charms time and space.

舞雲 (Snow Fluttering), calligraphy by Sagasaki Taibou (嵯峨帯夢), cursive script

Shodo entraps cosmic energy flow within lines, preserving a state of mind forever. Hosting such work in your home, you seed harmony and let it emanate a positive aura of simplicity. Both admiring and writing calligraphy are commonly considered forms of meditation, proven to be the most effective way of promoting longevity, surpassing any other Oriental discipline. The majority of the calligraphy masters enjoy a long and healthy life.

Being deeply spiritual, magical and truly magnificent, black ink traces soaked deep into the simple abyss of white sheet will embrace your soul in its translucent arms of purity, giving you new insight into the surrounding word, and perhaps yourself, too. For me, personally, standing in front of inspirational sho from a skilled calligrapher is beyond exciting. It is a privilege.

Sho is a unique phenomenon of the artistic world. It’s a true wonder and it is treated with great respect here in the Far East. In China and Japan there are special shrines (惜字炉, sekijiro) for burning paper covered in characters. No one dares to throw works in the bin or ever tread on them. In Japan, calligraphers used to bury brushes in Buddhist or Shinto shrines, as if they were dear friends who had expired. Shodo is considered to be a sacred vessel of ancient knowledge, a form of ever-lasting energy able to outlast its creator – the human mind.

If you take a deep bow before it, detach yourself from the modern rush and materialistic madness, it will whisper to you, heart to heart, touching your soul with eternal beauty and epic poetry of simple black lines.

“Calligraphy, even though it requires immersing oneself in lifelong study, is not based on skill per se. It is not craftsmanship either, as it is delivered when felt, and not when asked for. Evolving through millennia of historical unrest and uncertainty, shodo has proven to be truly immortal and ethereal art.

There is no such thing as complete or absolute knowledge of calligraphy, nor is there a common way to master it. It cannot be simply defined, or generalized, nor can it be fully experienced or appreciated without elevating one’s own self above the realm of the here and now. It’s free and boundless, roaming the skies of deepest emotions of the Universe, just like an elusive mythical dragon, meandering though dreamy clouds of the cosmos. You do not catch it or touch it. You simply bounce off the petty ground of reality, and soar along, side by side. “

On pages of our website you will find an abundance of detailed information on the evolution of calligraphy which was purposely divided into Chinese and Japanese history, and it is being discussed chronologically based on the appearance of the styles and the events that assisted that appearance. We believe that it is the best way to tell the story of this most fascinating art.


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